Rapid City’s temporary emergency care shelter closes its doors

The shelter was a place for the homeless population to recover from COVID-19.
The care shelter in Rapid City was open for 67 days.
The care shelter in Rapid City was open for 67 days.(KOTA)
Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 5:58 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Rapid City’s temporary emergency care shelter was designed to help the homeless population recover from COVID-19; however, that shelter is now closed.

It was originally located at the Civic Center’s Rushmore Hall, before moving to a smaller location at 725 N. Lacrosse St.

The shelter then stopped admitting new people on July 28.

Rapid City, Pennington County emergency management deputy director, Alexa White, says the decision was made because, on July 25, they had seen zero participants for four days in a row.

White says after July 28, they did retain the staff for about two weeks just in case there was a surge.

Now some may wonder what happens if there is a spike in cases? White says they have retained some of the staffing and participant supplies.

“In expectation and preparation that we might need to do that, and that direction wouldn’t be a decision just by us but by our user’s board. Which includes the police chief, the fire chief, the sheriff, and a few other folks that help make that decision. And so those would be the decision-makers that would say this is what we need to do now,” says White.

During the 67 days the shelter was open, they saw 54 individuals, and the most people they had in one day was 14.

Rapid City and Pennington County jointly funded the operation.

Copyright 2020 KOTA. All rights reserved.